X Marks The Spot – XBS2158

With the CAM project all but complete, the team at Eveleigh are keeping the momentum going by starting work on the full overhaul and restoration of first class compartment car XBS2158.

XBS at Rothbury
“this one looks good, let’s take it home and do it up!”

This car is currently undergoing a full restoration for the NSW rail heritage community.

This car was facing an uncertain future on a private property in the NSW Hunter Valley. It was subsequently transferred to Sydney in late 2014 to facilitate the re-activation works in keeping with the long standing Eveleigh Railway Workshop tradition repairing heritage rolling stock.

XBS2158 - Eveleigh Sept15

Overall this car is in pretty good shape, but there is always much work to be done. Some collision damage is evident from its railway service on one end of the car, requiring some repair works.

Daniel and James have been leading the charge, stripping out the toilet area where a new steel floor has been sought, and duly cut to size and welded in situ.

The vertical columns have been replaced also and are looking great. A quick coat of metal primer and the whole show is now awaiting the steel sheeting, which has been cut to size to seal the carriage exterior.

Window work is well underway also, with Project Leader Daniel coordinating the lads to slip the old windows out of the car to allow components to stripped. Each of these windows will require an individual assessment to determine if it can be salvaged and repaired…

There are a lot of metal window fittings that need cleaning and polishing so get in touch if you think you can offer some worthwhile assistance!

Having been in storage for so many decades, there is a lot of nuisance dust in the carriage. So the boys have spent a lot of time working through each compartment cleaning them out. There are a lot of interesting heirlooms behind the seats!

But there is always soooo much cleaning to be done! More XBS updates soon.

Christening Time – Welcome to the world CAM502

Well it has been an incredible journey. But we are delighted to say that our little pet project of 8 years was recently completed last December, just in time for Christmas!

CAM502 exterior.jpg

Last November, the Assets Standards Authority within TransportNSW department granted permission for CAM502 to operate on the rail network for the purpose of trials. Locomotive 42101 was utilised for the first trial journey along with the support of two of our other carriages. The test journey occurred on Tuesday 24th November 2015 from Eveleigh to Waterfall and return.

Only a few minor bugs were found but otherwise it performed satisfactorily to our travelling maintenance team and passed successfully. This would be the green light for the carriage to start operating on mainline tours.

Up next, on Sunday 13th December 2015 we had our annual christmas volunteers party to Robertson on the Cockatoo Run tourist train. On this day we got to show case the car to our fellow volunteers, colleagues, family and friends, as well as to our friends at the Robertson Heritage Railway Station. This would prove to be a very joyous day for everyone involved, not only within the restoration team, but also for every volunteer, past and present who contributed to this fantastic project.

Since then, “the CAM” lounge car been used on several mainline tours and charters. One successful event soon after our christmas party trip was on Thursday 17th December 2015. The car being utilised within the consist for the new Hawkesbury River Express to Brooklyn, just north of Sydney.

Special guests were invited, included the Mayor of Hornsby Shire Hon. Mr. Steve Russell, as well as the family of one of our late founding directors, Mr Ken Butt.

Special mention must be made to the Butt family for their contributions to this restoration project. As a tribute to the late Mr. Butt, the carriage has been named after him as the Ken Butt lounge.

So there you have it. One complete 1920s vintage lounge car, ready for service in the 21st Century.

But keep watching this space, as we may have a few more tricks up our sleeves… Thanks for reading!

Photo credits: Jane Bennett, Ian Wallace, Thomas Durber, Fred Sawyer.